According to new Border Patrol statistics, apprehensions at the southern border rose for the third consecutive month led by increases in illegal-alien family units. The Border Patrol apprehended 32,117 family units so far in fiscal year 2016, more than double the amount for this period last year and a 62% increase over the record number in fiscal year 2014 for that period.
The 4,452 illegal-alien family units apprehended in March represent a 46% increase over February and 60% more than in March of 2015. With respect to Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs), March saw a 37% increase over February and a 35% increase over the same month last year. 27,754 UACs were apprehended so far this fiscal year so far, which is 77% more than the same period in fiscal year 2015 and less than 1% below the record 2016 pace.
Family units from El Salvador lead in apprehensions this fiscal year, followed by those from Guatemala and Honduras. Last year Guatemalans topped the count trailed by those from El Salvador and Honduras. For UACs, Guatemalans led those from El Salvador and Honduras in both years.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson had claimed to have stemmed the tide of illegal border crossers from Central America in late 2014. The numbers were lower through early 2015 but have been rising dramatically of late. The pace is expected to continue though the summer, which would lead to another record year.
In related news, the Associated Press (AP) reported this week that the government places the vast majority of UACs apprehended at the border with adult illegal aliens. In response to an AP Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Health and Human Services released data indicating that 80 percent of the UACs placed between February 2014 and September 2015 were released to illegal aliens. Another 6 percent were released to foreign nationals with Temporary Protected Status, a designation that allows illegal aliens from El Salvador and other countries to remain and work legally in the country.
Commenting on the AP report, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said "Since the president refuses to enforce our immigration laws, unlawful immigrants in the United States consistently pay criminal organizations along the border thousands of dollars to smuggle their family members into the United States." The new numbers suggest that practice is on the rise.
Read more in The Washington Times.
Updated: Fri, May 6th 2016 @ 2:40pm EDT